Traveling Tips for Your Barge or River Cruise

Below are links to the traveling tips on the different types of barge and river cruises that we offer.  these are answers to many commonly asked questions.

Traveling Tips on Casual Bike and Barge

Traveling Tips on 6 - 18 passenger barges

Traveling Tips on Croisi River Cruises

Traveling Tips on AMA Cruises

Traveling Tips on Arosa Cruises

Traveling Tips on Scenic Cruises

Barge or River Cruise - What's the Difference

I would like to introduce you to the world of Barge and River Cruises in Europe. Both type of vessels will cruise where many tour buses cannot go, so you will see areas that you might not otherwise ever see. Choose from such destinations as France, Germany and Eastern Europe, Great Britain and Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Holland & Belgium and Russia.

Luxury Barge Cruising in Europe. . .

Barging is an extremely comfortable way to experience Europe. Whether cruising in France, Germany, England, Scotland, Ireland, Belgium or Holland, on your journey you will see quaint little villages, beautiful chateaux, cathedrals, wineries and more, while also enjoying gourmet food and wine. There is much to see and do but the pace can be as leisurely as one wants.

For those that have seen the major tourist sites and now want to experience more of Europe, and still have the comfort of every aspect of the trip taken care of, then a luxury canal barge cruise may be for you. All excursions are included as well as wine with the meals and open bar. The atmosphere is very relaxed, no formal nights, you are out during the day exploring, so you will never run out of activities. The staff of the barge are English speaking and go out of their way to meet your every need.

The barges are air conditioned with central heating and carpeted throughout. There is a spacious saloon, dining area and bar, as well as a sun deck. Cabins feature private bath, 2 twin beds and closets as well as drawer space.  On the deluxe barges, you will often find a jacuzzi, fitness rooms, computer access, tvs and bigger cabins - offering double or king beds.

The barges cruise to such regions as Bordeux, Burgundy, Alsace-Lorraine, Canal du Midi, Upper Loire, Champagne, Franche-Compte and Provence. A cruise through the Burgundy region will feature scenery made famous by French Impressionists painters and an itinerary of medieval towns and chateaux and the famous vineyards of Burgundy. A journey through the Alsace region, perhaps one of the most picturesque provinces in France, is an endless discovery of art, architecture, gourmet food and wine and history. The itinerary is full of turreted castles and picture-book villages. In the Upper Loire region, you will find the famous Sancerre vineyards and the home of the famous French goat cheese – "Crottin de Chavignol", as well as many historical buildings. With a cruise to the Champagne region, you will enjoy wine tastings in some of the most prestigious champagne houses, as well as visiting memorials to the fallen of the First World War, and the superb Gothic Cathedral in  Reims. While cruising through the Franche-Compte region, culinary delights will include Compte cheese and the white wines of Arbois. The region is full of rivers, lakes and streams. Provence – the image of sun, perfumed flowers, historical towns and some of the world’s finest wines – they are all here.

Another feature of the barges is their gourmet food and wine. As you are cruising through some of the most beautiful French countryside, you will enjoy specialty foods from the regions as well as local wines and cheeses (many of which are not exported out of France). Additionally, the barges have a open bar policy. During the course of the week, you will enjoy no fewer than 20 different local wines and almost 30 different types of cheeses. The chefs, many studied at top French cooking schools or trained at Michlin Restaurant) delight in offering you the very best of French gourmet cuisine. Your breakfast will include freshly baked breads and pastries from local bakers, lunch will be a buffet style with fresh fruits, meats, cheeses and vegetables of the regions, while dinner can contain from 5 – 7 courses of local, specialized foods such as beef, fowl and fish.

These cruises are great for small groups, whether friends, family or for business meetings/incentives. Such group themes as gardens and architecture, opera, gastronomy, wine, health/walking/cycling, golfing, religious and ballooning are available. The land only prices for these inclusive cruises (including cruise, 4 - 6 meals daily, wine with meals,open bar, use of bicycles and all excursions) start at $3690 per person in off season and $3990 per person in high season for a 7 day cruise.

Cruising the rivers of Europe. . .

Rivers cruise itineraries include voyages through countries like Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Hungary, Czech Republic, Italy, and more without the usual inconveniences of packing and unpacking. The "Floating Hotels" cruise by beautiful cities, villages, castles and vineyards. On the Rhine, a variety of itineraries depart from Amsterdam, Mainz and Basel. On the Danube, voyages depart from Passau, Germany and cruise to the Austrian and Hungarian capitals of Vienna and Budapest. In Italy, we offer round trip cruises out of romantic Venice visiting fascinating cities like Verona, Ferrara, and Parma. On the Rhone, ships sail round-trip from Lyon, France to the Burgundy and Beaujolais wine regions and the Mediterranean style cities of Avignon and Arles as well as one-way between Lyon and Avignon. And on the gentle Elbe, vessels cruise between Berlin and Prague and Hamburg and Dresden.

River cruises in comparison to barge cruises are different in that they cruise the rivers of Europe rather than the small canals. The ships are larger and hold from 80 to 200+ passengers. Though river cruises are not as "all inclusive" as barge cruises, many of the lines are now including more in their rates.

AMA Waterways is including the sightseeing, as well as free internet access on the in room tvs and wine with dinner.

Scenic Cruises includes free internet access on the in room tvs, wine as well as beer and soda served with lunch and dinner, an alternative Italian restaurant, sightseeing (with multiple tours available in some ports) and gratuities included in their cruise rates.

AMA, Arosa and Scenic cruises also feature bicycles on board for the guest's use. AMA, Arosa, Premicon Queen, Scenic and some of the Croisi ships have elevators on board. You can find fitness centers, jacuzzi, massage and even swimming pools on some of the ships.

NICKO CRUISES

DESTINATIONS: Provence  and Seine River in France, Holland cruises, Elbe River in northern Germany, the Oder River through northern Germany and Poland, The Rhine, Main and Danube in Germany including cruises to the Black Sea. With Nicko we now have a cruise on the Douro in Portugal. Cruises range from 8 to 14 days.

CRUISE FEATURES: clients unpack only once with these tours of Europe. A sightseeing package featuring an English languiage guide is available for pre purchase. Guests are multi nationality cruisers. 4 meals daily - the breakfast consists of a buffet, lunch is usually a buffet and a menu for hot meals and dinner can consist of 5 - 9 courses. Other meals are afternoon tea and midnight snack. Some regional entertainment is offered on some ships.

SHIP FEATURES: Ships hold between 50 - 160 passengers. Each cabin has a telephone and private bath, tvs in the cabins. All cabins are double occupancy - some single cabins and triple cabins. The ships will have a dining room, bar and lounge. Some of the ships feature a gift shop, beauty salone, fitness room and sauna/jacuzzi. As with the bigger cruise lines, there is a daily program put in the cabins each evening. Smoking is allowed on the sundeck only on the ship. The ships are classified as a 3* - 5*.

CLIENT: This cruise line is good for your experienced traveler or those that really like to experience Europe. Dress code falls in the casual category. The cuisine is more continental.

PRICING: Cruise rate DOES NOT include sightseeing, but a discounted package may be pre-bought.

CROISIERE

DESTINATIONS: Seine River and Provence region of France, Holland cruises in April, Elbe River in northern Germany, the Rhine, Main, Neckar, Saar, Moselle and Danube in Germany, Duoro River in Portugal and the Po River in northern Italy. Cruises range from 3 to 13 days.

CRUISE FEATURES: clients unpack only once with these tours of Europe. Sightseeing is additional.   If you have a group of 10 or more, you can pre-book the excursions at a discount. Guests are multi nationality cruisers. 6 meals daily - the breakfast consists of a buffet, lunch is usually a buffet and a menu for hot meals and dinner can consist of 5 - 9 courses.  Some regional entertainment is offered on some ships.  Not all sailings will have English speaking guests.  The cruise manager on the ship will speak English and some of the staff.

SHIP FEATURES: Ships hold between 50 - 200 passengers. Each cabin has a private bath, most vessels have tvs in the cabins. All cabins are double occupancy.  The ships will have a dining room, bar, and library. There are no elevators on board. As with the bigger cruise lines, there is a daily program put in the cabins each evening. There is smoking on the ship, outside on the deck and in part of the lounge. The ships are classified as a 3&4*.

CLIENT: This cruise line is good for your experienced traveler or those that really like to experience Europe. Dress code falls in the casual catagory. The cuisine is more continental.  

PRICING: Cruise rate DOES NOT include sightseeing, but a discounted package can be pre-bought. the tours are in French but would provide transportation to the sights where othen ther is English language head sets available.